Broncos strengthen goaltending department . . . Lions’ Rourke a treat to watch . . . Chiefs, Giants add to coaching staffs


There was an interesting trade in the WHL on Friday as the Swift Current SwiftCurrentBroncos acquired G Gage Alexander, 20, from the Winnipeg Ice for a third-round pick in the 2025 draft. . . . The 6-foot-6 Alexander, who is from Okotoks, Alta., was selected by the Anaheim Ducks in the fifth round of the NHL’s 2021 draft. . . . Last season, he went 18-7-4, .911, 2.40 in 29 games with the Ice. . . . This trade gives the Broncos a 1-2 goaltending punch of Alexander and Reid Dyck, an 18-year-old who was selected by the Boston Bruins in the sixth round of the NHL’s 2022 draft. From Winkler, Man., the 6-foot-3 Dyck was 6-12-1, 4.26, .884 with the Broncos last season. . . . The Broncos, who didn’t make the playoffs in 2021-22, are going to want to get off to a good start in the fall. “Adding Gage gives us some depth at the position and an opportunity for us to start the season strong,” Chad Leslie, the Broncos’ general manager, said in a news release. “We feel that we are taking a step forward as a group and this addition helps us in that regard.”


Fine


Let’s check in on a couple of Dr. Google’s students . . .

It is the Detroit Tigers turn to spend time in Toronto as they play a four-game series with the Blue Jays. The Tigers arrived in Toronto minus only one COVIDunvaccinated player — left-handed reliever Andrew Chafin. . . . According to Evan Petzold of the Detroit Free Press, Chafin explained that “me and my wife talked about getting it or not getting it, and we decided it was best for our family if we didn’t. For me, family life and personal life comes before anything. We decided as a family it was best to go this route, and we’re willing to deal with the consequences.” . . . Chafin is having a decent season for a team that won’t be in the playoffs. He’s a southpaw, which means he’ll be in demand at Tuesday’s trade deadline. So . . . will he get vaccinated if he is traded? “We’ll see what happens,” he said. “If the situation calls for it, maybe.” . . .

Still with followers of Dr. Google, OF Andrew Benintendi, who couldn’t join his Kansas City Royals in Toronto for a recent series with the Blue Jays, apparently is thinking about getting vaccinated. All it took was a trade to the New York Yankees. The Royals won’t be in the playoffs; the Yankees will be. . . . As Larry Brooks wrote in the New York Post prior to the Royals and Yankees meeting Thursday night: “He delivered rehearsed and meaningless word salad when asked about the matter during his introductory press conference at the Stadium a couple of hours before (the game).” According to Brooks, Benintendi said: “Right now I’m still positioned in the same spot. I’m open-minded about it. I’m not against it. But time will tell as we get closer (to the Toronto series). For now I’m focused on getting comfortable here and with the guys.” . . . Of course, he now will get vaccinated. . . . The Yankees have one series left in Toronto (Sept. 26-28) and could face the Blue Jays at some point on the playoff trail.


Facebook


Headline at The Beaverton (@TheBeaverton): Federal, provincial and municipal leaders strike landmark deal to blame each other for housing prices.


THINKING OUT LOUD: Hey, Sleeman, you can kill that 2.0 commercial, like, yesterday. I think everyone has seen it a mind-numbing number of times by now. . . . WHL training camps are about a month away. So is it safe to assume that the 22 teams are about to start posting their 2022-23 rosters on the WHL website? . . . ICYMI, the Seattle Mariners made a statement on Friday night by acquiring RHP Luis Castillo from the Cincinnati Reds. He may have been the best starter available and you can bet Mariners’ fans will be excited now. . . . If you’re a football fan, you have to enjoy watching QB Nathan Rourke of the CFL’s B.C. Lions. He was nothing short of terrific on Friday night — 27-for-33, 336 yards, two TDs — in a 32-17 victory over the Saskatchewan Roughriders in Regina. The Roughriders led this one, 17-4, before Rourke took over. . . . BTW, the Lions are 5-1 for the first time since 2007.


Hooters


THE COACHING GAME:

The Spokane Chiefs have rounded out their coaching staff by hiring Stefan Legein as associate coach. Legein, 33, had been an assistant coach with the QMJHL’s Saint John Sea Dogs, who won the 2022 Memorial Cup as the host team. He had been with Saint John since 2018. . . . In Spokane, Legein will work with head coach Ryan Smith and assistant Dustin Donaghy. . . . This completes something of a hat-trick for Legein, as he also has coached in the OHL, spending one season as the video coach for the Mississauga Steelheads. . . . The Chiefs’ news release is right here. . . .

Adam Maglio has joined the Vancouver Giants as their associate coach. He will work with Michael Dyck, who is heading into his fifth season as the club’s head coach. . . . Maglio, 36, is preparing for his fourth WHL season as a coach, the previous three having been spent with the Spokane Chiefs. He was in his second season as the Chiefs’ head coach when he was fired during the 2021-22 season. . . . With Vancouver, he is filling a vacancy created when Keith McCambridge signed on as an assistant coach with the Bakersfield Condors, the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers. . . . The Giants’ news release is right here. . . .

Sean Robertson has joined the junior B Saanich Predators of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League as assistant general manager and associate coach. . . . Robertson, from Cobble Hill, B.C., spent last season as an assistant coach with the BCHL’s Cowichan Capitals. . . . With Saanich, he’ll be working alongside Cody Carlson, the general manager and head coach. . . .

Ryan McGill, a former WHL defenceman and coach, has signed with the NHL’s New Jersey Devils as an assistant coach under head coach Lindy Ruff. McGill, 53, was on the coaching staff of the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights for the past five seasons. . . . He played in the WHL with the Lethbridge Broncos, Swift Current Broncos and Medicine Hat Tigers (1985-89). He was on the Edmonton Ice/Kootenay Ice coaching staff (1996-2002), the last four-plus as head coach. . . . After coaching in the AHL and spending two seasons (2009-11) as an assistant with the NHL’s Calgary Flames, he returned to Cranbrook for three more seasons (2012-15) as head coach of the Kootenay Ice (remember them?) . . .

Former WHL player and coach Rocky Thompson has joined the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers as an assistant coach. His primary responsibility under head coach John Tortorella apparently will be the PP, which was the NHL’s poorest last season. . . . Thompson, 45, was with the San Jose Sharks in 2020-21 but left them prior to last season. At the time, he issued this statement: ”Due to a medical exemption that prevents me from taking the COVID-19 vaccine, under the new league protocols, I am not permitted to fulfill my duties on the Sharks coaching staff at this time. I will have no further comment on this matter.” . . . Most recently, he was with the QMJHL’s Saint John Sea Dogs as an advisor as they won the 2022 Memorial Cup as the host team. . . . He played four seasons in the WHL, starting with the Medicine Hat Tigers and finishing up with 22 games with the Swift Current Broncos. Later, he was an assistant coach for three seasons with the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . .

Ben Walter is the new head coach of the men’s hockey team at Trinity Western University of Langley, B.C., as the Spartans prepare for their second season in Canada West. Walter is a Langley native whose pro playing career featured more than 900 games, including 607 in the AHL and stints in Austria, Finland, Japan and Sweden. . . . Last season, he worked as the skills coach with the BCHL’s Nanaimo Clippers and also worked with the Cowichan Valley Minor Hockey Association. . . . With TWU, Walter takes over from Barret Kropf, now the general at the Prairie Hockey Academy in Caronport, Sask., where he also coaches the U-15 prep team.


Bard


If you are interested in being a living kidney donor, more information is available here:

Living Kidney Donor Program

St. Paul’s Hospital

6A Providence Building

1081 Burrard Street

Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6

Tel: 604-806-9027

Toll free: 1-877-922-9822

Fax: 604-806-9873

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

——

Vancouver General Hospital Living Donor Program – Kidney 

Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre

Level 5, 2775 Laurel Street

Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9

604-875-5182 or 1-855-875-5182

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


Green

Broncos’ goaltender detailing U-18 team’s adventures . . . Zellweger, Toporowski expected back on Friday . . . Hlinka Gretzky Cup, WJC have their dates

The WHL’s Swift Current Broncos will have seven players off their roster playing in the IIHF’s U-18 World championship when it opens in Germany on HockeyCanadaSaturday. . . . Six of those players will skate with Team Canada, the first time one team has had that many players on the roster. G Reid Dyck, D Owen Pickering, F Josh Davies, F Josh Filmon, F Connor Hvidston and F Mathew Ward all are part of Canada’s 25-man roster. . . . D Rayan Bettahar of the Broncos is on the host team’s roster. . . . Other WHLers on Team Canada’s roster are G Ethan Buenaventura, Calgary Hitmen; D Lukas Dragicevic, Tri-City Americans; D Kalem Parker, Victoria Royals; D Grayden Siepmann, Calgary; F Connor Bedard, Regina Pats; F Tanner Howe, Regina; and F Brayden Schuurman, Victoria. . . . I will be curious to see how F Matthew Wood of the BCHL’s Victoria Grizzlies stacks up here. Wood, who turned 17 on Feb. 6, is from Lethbridge He led the WHL in goals (45) and points (85) in 46 games. He has committed to attend the U of Connecticut for 2023-24. The Regina Pats selected Wood in the second round of the WHL’s 2020 draft.. . . Canada will open Saturday against Team USA. . . . The tournament will be played in Kaufbeuren and Landshut, and is to run through May 1. . . . Team Canada’s roster is right here.

——

Team Canada already is in Germany, and G Reid Dyck of the Swift Current Broncos is blogging for the WHL team’s website, and his first posting is most entertaining and includes photos. He reports that Monday began with a 2:45 a.m. wakeup call in Regina. . . . You can read all about his day right here, a long travel day that ended when luggage belonging to Dyck and two teammates didn’t make it.



An email from a WHL fan who is a regular visitor to Taking Note:

“Your pet peeve loser points . . . Everett gets rewarded getting 10 loser points. Kamloops gets punished for having more regulation-time victories. . . . The WHL should do one or the other — copy the IIHF by giving the winner in regulation-time three points or go back and only give points to the winner.”

Or dump overtime and that silliness that is the shootout and bring tie games back into existence.

You ask, what’s this all about? It’s all about rewarding teams for losing — aka the loser point.

The Everett Silvertips finished atop the Western Conference with a record of 45-13-10. The two teams that finished one point behind them — the Kamloops Blazers and Portland Winterhawks — each had more victories (48 and 47) but far fewer loser points. While Everett cashed in 10 of those, Kamloops had three and Portland five.

Of course, Everett finished with fewer regulation-time losses (13) than Kamloops (17) and Portland (16).



F Connor Bedard of the Regina Pats finished the WHL’s regular season with 51 goals. He was born on July 17, 2005, so hasn’t yet turned 17. As a result, he is the youngest player in WHL history to reach the 50-goal mark. . . . F Glen Goodall scored 63 goals with the 1986-87 Seattle Thunderbirds. He was born on Jan. 22, 1970, so had turned 17 before season’s end. BTW, he was a regular with Seattle at the age of 14, so already was in his third season when he hit for 63. . . . F Dan Lucas of the Victoria Cougars scored 57 goals in 1974-75. He was born on Feb. 28, 1958, so also had turned 17 before season’s end. That was his second season with the Cougars; he had played 29 games in 1973-74. . . . Bedard, of course, played with the Pats in the 2021 development season, scoring 12 goals in 15 games before heading off to play for Team Canada at the 2021 IIHF World U-18 championship in Texas. Canada won that tournament, beating Russia 5-3 in the final. Bedard had seven goals and seven assists in seven games.



Fred


The Everett Silvertips expect to have Olen Zellweger, the WHL’s highest-Everettscoring defenceman, back in the lineup on Friday when they open the playoffs against the visiting Vancouver Giants. . . . “Olen will be set to play,” Dennis Williams, Everett’s general manager and head coach, told Nick Patterson of the Everett Herald. . . . Zellweger led defencemen in assists (64) and points (78), all in 55 games. . . . He hasn’t played since suffering an undisclosed injury on April 10. He sat out Everett’s last two games, both road losses — 5-1 to the Portland Winterhawks and 4-1 to the Tri-City Americans. . . . The Silvertips go into the playoffs having lost three in a row while being outscored 13-3. In fact, they are just 2-3-2 in their last seven outings.


The Kamloops Blazers expect to have F Luke Toporowski, 20, back in their Kamloopslineup when they open against the visiting Spokane Chiefs on Friday. Toporowski, who was acquired from the Chiefs on Jan. 17, has been out with a leg injury since March 11. In 22 games with Kamloops, he had 34 points, including 20 goals. . . . F Nick McCarry, who was part of the package that went to Spokane in that deal, put up 16 goals and 19 assists in 36 games with the Chiefs. . . . Interestingly, Ryan Smith, the Chiefs’ interim head coach, spent one season on the coaching staff of the Medicine Hat Tigers working alongside Shaun Clouston. At that time, Clouston was the Tigers’ general manager and head coach; today, he wears both hats for the Blazers. . . . Marty Hastings of Kamloops This Week has a chat with Smith right here.


My wife, Dorothy, is preparing to take part in her ninth Kamloops Kidney Walk. . . . It will be held on June 5, but thanks to the pandemic it again will be a virtual event. . . . If you would like to sponsor her, you are able to do so right here.


Waldo


JUST NOTES: There now are official dates for the eight-team 2022 Hlinka Gretzky Cup and the 10-team 2022 World Junior Championship. The former, for U-18 teams, is scheduled for Red Deer, July 31 through Aug. 6. Canada will be in Group A, along with Slovakia, Sweden and Switzerland. Group B is to comprise Czechia, Finland, Germany and the U.S. The WJC is scheduled for Rogers Place in Edmonton, Aug. 9-20. You will recall that the WJC actually got started in December before a number of positive tests among players and on-ice officials resulted in its being cancelled. From a news release: “The results from games played in December will not be carried over to this summer’s World Juniors, and players born in 2002 or later will remain eligible to represent their respective countries.” Canada is to play in Group B with Czechia, Finland, Latvia and Slovakia. Group A is to feature Austria, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland and the U.S. . . .

Manny Viveiros, a former WHL player and coach, is on leave from his position as head coach of the AHL’s Henderson Silver Knights as he progresses into “the next steps of his recovery,” according to a news release. Viveiros is fighting prostate cancer. . . . In his absence, assistant coach Jamie Heward takes over as interim head coach. . . . Viveiros was the general manager and head coach of the Swift Current Broncos, with Heward as assistant coach, when they won the WHL’s 2017-18 championship. . . .

D Gannon Laroque of the Victoria Royals will finish this season with the AHL’s San Jose Barracuda. He could be in their lineup tonight against the host Bakersfield Condors. Laroque, from Edmonton, was a fourth-round selection by the San Jose Sharks in the NHL’s 2021 draft. . . . F Tarun Fizer, the Royals’ 20-year-old captain, will finish up with the ECHL’s Utah Grizzlies. . . . Adam Nugent-Hopkins has joined the Yale Hockey Academy in Abbotsford, B.C., as the head coach of the the U-18 prep team. He spent the 2021-22 season as head coach of the U-18 AAA Greater Vancouver Canadians. He is the older brother of Edmonton Oilers F Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.


Policy


If you are interested in being a living kidney donor, more information is available here:

Living Kidney Donor Program

St. Paul’s Hospital

6A Providence Building

1081 Burrard Street

Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6

Tel: 604-806-9027

Toll free: 1-877-922-9822

Fax: 604-806-9873

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

——

Vancouver General Hospital Living Donor Program – Kidney 

Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre

Level 5, 2775 Laurel Street

Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9

604-875-5182 or 1-855-875-5182

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


Eating

Lambert leaves Chiefs for Music City. . . . WHL teams sign more prospects. . . . Growlers win ECHL in first season


MacBeth

D Justin Hamonic (Tri-City, 2012-15) has signed a one-year contract with the Coventry Blaze (England, UK Elite). This season, with Angers (France, Ligue Magnus), he had one goal and nine assists in 42 games.


ThisThat
On May 21, the Spokane Chiefs signed head coach Dan Lambert to an extension, believed SpokaneChiefsto be two years in length.

On June 4, the Chiefs began their search for a new head coach.

Such are the vagaries of major junior hockey.

Lambert, the Chiefs’ head coach for the past two seasons, has joined the NHL’s Nashville Predators as an assistant coach.

It turns out that the Predators came calling one day after the Chiefs and Lambert agreed on that extension.

“I was not looking,” Lambert told Dan Thompson for a story he wrote for the Spokane Spokesman-Review. “This was not my intention at all.”

The Chiefs are one of three WHL teams without a head coach, joining the Kamloops Blazers and Prince George Cougars. The Blazers are looking for a replacement for Serge Lajoie, who departed after one season, while the Cougars need a head coach after firing Richard Matvichuk in February.

In Brandon, David Anning, the head coach of the Wheat Kings for three seasons, is without a contract after his expired on May 31. He also spent four seasons as an assistant coach with Brandon.

In Spokane, it could be that assistant coach Scott Burt is atop the list of potential replacements. Burt has been on the Chiefs’ staff for six seasons now.

Lambert, 49, is a native of St. Boniface, Man. He played four seasons (1986-90) with the Swift Current Broncos, helping them to the 1989 Memorial Cup championship; he was named the tournament’s MVP. He went on to a pro career that ended after five seasons (2004-09) with the Hannover Scorpions of Germany’s DEL.

He got into coaching with the Kelowna Rockets, working as an assistant coach for five seasons (2009-14) and head coach for 2014-15. The Rockets won the Ed Chynoweth Cup in 2015 and reached the Memorial Cup final, where they lost to the OHL’s Oshawa Generals.

He spent 2015-16 as an assistant coach with the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres and was the head coach of their AHL affiliate, the Rochester Americans, the next season.

He signed with the Chiefs after being dismissed by the Sabres.

Spokane was 81-46-13 with Lambert as its head coach. This season, the Chiefs finished 40-21-7, then reached the Western Conference final, where they lost to the Vancouver Giants.

This season, the Chiefs had the WHL’s best power play in the regular season (29.1 per cent) and again in the playoffs (36.1). Yes, he is likely to be responsible for Nashville’s PP.

Thompson’s complete story is right here.


There has never been a subscription fee for this blog, but if you enjoy stopping by here, why not consider donating to the cause? Thank you very much.


The Red Deer Rebels have signed three of their picks from the WHL’s 2019 bantam draft Red Deer— D Hunter Mayo, D Jace Weir and F Carter Anderson. . . . Mayo, from Martensville, Sask., was selected in the second round. He had 15 goals and 27 assists in 28 games with a bantam AA team in Martensville this season. . . . Weir, from Coldstream, B.C., also was taken in the second round. This season, he had eight goals and 24 assists in 18 games with the North Zone bantams in Coldstream. . . . Anderson, from Thompson, Man., was a third-round pick. This season, with the bantam prep team at the Winnipeg-based Rink Hockey Academy, he had 17 goals and 11 assists in 29 games.

——

The Swift Current Broncos have signed G Reid Dyck to a WHL contract. From Winkler, Man., Dyck was a third-round pick in the 2019 bantam draft. He was the second goaltender taken in the draft. . . . This season, he was 3.44 and .912 in 23 games with the bantam AAA Pembina Valley Hawks.

——

The Saskatoon Blades have signed F Jayden Wiens to a WHL contract. From Carrot River, Sask., he was an eighth-round selection in the 2018 bantam draft. . . . This season, with the midget AAA Tisdale Trojans, he had seven goals and 27 assists in 44 regular-season games. He added four goals and five assists in seven playoff games, then had six goals and two assists in seven Telus Cup games.


Serge Lajoie, who worked this season as the head coach of the Kamloops Blazers, has been added to the U of Alberta’s Sports Wall of Fame. . . . Lajoie won four national hockey titles with the Golden Bears — one as a player, two as an assistant coach and one as a head coach. He also was once named the U of A’s top male athlete and Canadian university’s male hockey player of the year. . . . Matt Gutach has more right here.


Bill Chow, the president of the SJHL, has had his contract extended through May 31, 2021. Chow has been running the SJHL for eight seasons since taking over on May 31, 2011. . . . The SJHL news release is right here.


Jake Grimes, who had been an associate coach with the OHL-champion Guelph Storm, is qmjhlthe new head coach of the QMJHL’s Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. . . . Grimes and George Burnett, the Storm’s general manager and head coach, had been together for 13 years in Belleville and Guelph. . . . Grimes, who is from Dartmouth, N.S., had been the Storm’s associate coach for two seasons. . . . The Screaming Eagles fired Marc-Andre Dumont, their GM and head coach, on April 16. . . . Last month, they named Jacques Carrier as general manager, hockey operations, and John Hanna as assistant GM, hockey operations.


The Newfoundland Growlers, in their first ECHL season, won the Kelly Cup on Tuesday night, beating the Toledo Walleye, 4-3, in St. John’s. . . . The Growlers won the best-of-seven final, 4-2. . . . Two ex-WHLers combined for the goal that gave the Growlers a 4-1 lead at 13:32 of the second period. F Giorgio Estephan scored the goal, with Hudson Elynuik getting the lone assist. Estephan, who won a WHL title last season with the Swift Current Broncos, finished with two goals and an assist, while Elynuik, who completed his junior eligibility with the Spokane Chiefs last season, had two assists. . . . Also in the Growlers’ lineup last night were F Matt Bradley, who finished his WHL career last season with the Regina Pats, and Latvian D Kristians Rubins, who spent the previous two seasons with the Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . The last ECHL team to win the championship in its first season of existence? The Greensboro Monarchs, in 1990.


Tweetoftheday

%d bloggers like this: